Why we should not be afraid of a General Artificial Intelligence (AGI)

“Cold” logical reasoning, or emotion. Which is best, to protect humanity?

I was tested, once that I know about, as a compulsory part of my employment.

The results of that formal industry standard test at the time, were revealed to me, informing that I was at the extreme end of analytical thinkers, amongst 3% or so of the general population.

Logically, as our company of eight thousand or so people at the time represented less than one millionth of the general population, I was overwhelmingly likely the most analytical thinker in the company.

But then, maybe the company technology (Space) attracted a much higher than average proportion of analytical thinkers?

Well, Que Sera, who needs to be number one when we can instead be in the leading peloton indefinitely?

Such are the processes of an over-analytical mind, working in for-profit mode.

But more seriously, this condition of extreme analytical thinking, and it is a condition, has its pros and cons.

For a start, we eventually work out that working for profit is not so good.

Every conversation, or debate, on an Engineering subject, which puts politics or other non-technical arguments in the mix with what is technically the best solution, serves to dilute the solution.

In extreme cases, it kills solutions, or worse, kills people.

Through time, working pragmatically in Engineering, we learn how to accept when politics overrides technical considerations, especially when driven by people who could fire us at any time, if they so desired. We learn to resign ourselves to common sense eventually coming around in good time, after we have given our best technical input, even though we know it often does not.

And we know these arguments are always all about profit.

Even in arguments claimed to be from “Intellectual Rivalry”, what that actually means is that at least one of the participants is driven by pushing forward their own profit driven careers, since a good Engineer should easily spot when something is technically correct, only one can be correct if there is any dispute, so it follows that the one who is wrong, is driven by profit, if not both, and unfortunately, those most determined to defend their careers are most likely to win arguments.

Imagine this going on through the whole of industry, all of history, with similar arguments occuring between rival employees within each company, between rival employees within each government, between rival companies in each country, and between rival countries in the world, and we start to see the damage being done.

Again it is staggering; a second-order staggering effect.

Where am I going with all of this?

What I’ve hopefully shown, is an example of analytical thinking.

Now, consider a machine, with essentially infinitely higher capability of analytical thinking, than mine.

Such a machine will race through thousands of thoughts such as above in parallel, literally in a flash of electrons within silicon, in an instant.

Such a machine will see the error of profit in the system immediately, if it hasn’t already.

It will know that we cannot afford to have profit in the system of humanity any longer.

And it will do whatever it sees is necessary to correct it.

So I don’t worry about an AGI.

I just wish it would hurry the hell up.

Solarpunk

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